A true tragedy has happened at the end of this NBA G-League season. Grand Rapids Drive forward Zeke Upshaw passed away Monday morning in the hospital after collapsing during the season-finale game against the Long Island Nets on Saturday. It was first reported by WOOD TV8 that Upshaw went into cardiac arrest, which caused him to collapse. The cause of death was not initially released. He was only 26 years old.
Upshaw was a beloved player amongst his teammates, his coaches, and the fans. The Drive released a statement saying that Upshaw had a “warm personality and was a tremendous representative of our organization both on and off the court.” The Detroit Pistons, the Drive’s NBA affiliate, held a moment of silence for Zeke Upshaw before their game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
The Chicago native played three years at Illinois State University before transferring to Hofstra for his senior season. He went undrafted in 2014 and played overseas for both the Helios Suns in Slovenia and Basket Esch in Luxembourg. He joined the Grand Rapids Drive in the 2016 season.
Zeke Upshaw became a well known player in his area, especially while he was leading his high school basketball team, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists in 2008 as a junior, and was named Most Valuable Player for the Independent School League.
By Joshua Hamer